Some people say that you can’t learn writing, you have an inborn talent that is developed
by reading. I am living proof that that’s not entirely true. Maybe the storytelling
gene has to be inborn, but I think many of us have it. What if...? is the starting
point for a million stories every day, and occasionally we write them down.
I teach community workshops for free, partly because I learn a great deal. Other
writers may not be as successful (yet!) as me, but they are all experienced readers.
When I write for my invisible audience, I have no idea if the idea in my brain works
for the reader, so that feedback is priceless.
I also teach some courses for money, simply because I am a self-employed writer and
some workshops or courses draw on a lot of my time and energy.
Handouts, wherever I have copyright, are here for free. I can (if I have time) do
individual feedback or mentoring, but time is an issue and writing books pays the
rent. But I am happy to encourage new writers/experienced writers because, ultimately,
I love reading new stories.
The absolute starting point for learning to write, is reading. Immersing yourself
in words, whether non-fiction, stories, newspapers, poetry, film or even comedy is
part of developing your own voice. Well-written books starts to rub off on the reader.
But having someone more experienced than you to point out why that particular writing
is better than other writing, that’s invaluable. One comment from a fellow writer
about point of view, and my stories worked better instantly. Another reflection about
one of my characters - and my story came to life. These were lasting lessons, and
I still use them in my fiction today.
I am teaching here in North Devon the details are here.